Away by Amy Bloom

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Panoramic in scope, Away is the epic and intimate story of young Lillian Leyb, a dangerous innocent, an accidental heroine. When her family is destroyed in a Russian pogrom, Lillian comes to America alone, determined to make her way in a new land. When word comes that her daughter, Sophie, might still be alive, Lillian embarks on an odyssey that takes her from the world of the Yiddish theater on New York’s Lower East Side, to Seattle’s Jazz District, and up to Alaska, along the fabled Telegraph Trail toward Siberia. All of the qualities readers love in Amy Bloom’s work–her humor and wit, her elegant and irreverent language, her unflinching understanding of passion and the human heart–come together in the embrace of this brilliant novel, which is at once heartbreaking, romantic, and completely unforgettable.

About Amy Bloom

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AMY BLOOM is the author of two novels and two collections of short stories, one a nominee for the National Book Award and the other a National Book Critics Circle Award nominee. Her stories have appeared in Best American Short Stories, Prize Stories: The O. Henry Awards, and numerous anthologies here and abroad. She has written for the New Yorker, the New York Times Magazine, the Atlantic Monthly, Vogue, Slate, and Salon, among many other publications, and has won a National Magazine Award. Her first book of nonfiction, Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops, and Hermaphrodites with Attitude, is an exploration of the varieties of gender. A practicing psychotherapist, she lives in Connecticut and teaches at Yale University. Multiple Audie® Award winner Barbara Rosenblat has been named a "Voice of the Twentieth Century" by AudioFile magazine. The New York Times writes,"Watch Ms. Rosenblat work...and you get the sense that even an Oscar winner might not be able to pull this off." She created the role of "Mrs. Medlock" in the Tony® Award-winning Broadway musical The Secret Garden.
Published August 21, 2007 by Random House. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History, Action & Adventure. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Away

The New York Times

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“We live and we love the world, Lillian thinks, and we kid ourselves that the world loves us back,” Ms.

Aug 20 2007 | Read Full Review of Away

The New York Times

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Lillian will endure almost anything because nothing can be worse than what she has already survived — a pogrom in which her family was butchered: “She was an orphan, a widow and the mother of a dead child, for which there’s not even a special word, it’s such a terrible thing.” Lillian’s grim plig...

Sep 02 2007 | Read Full Review of Away

The Guardian

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Her trajectory is marvellously ambitious: at first we believe that she has entered America to leave the past behind her, but then it catches up with her in the shape of her hard-hearted cousin Raisele, who tells Lilian that Lilian's daughter, believed dead, is in fact alive and has been taken to ...

Aug 25 2007 | Read Full Review of Away

Publishers Weekly

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Lillian Leyb, a 22-year-old Yiddish-speaking immigrant whose parents and husband were brutally slaughtered during a Russian pogrom, is searching for her missing three-year-old daughter, Sophie.

Sep 24 2007 | Read Full Review of Away

BC Books

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The man tells her, “I told you when we met, baby, I already have a wife.” Though I don’t believe Bloom is making a case, or commenting on our social mores, her stories often make a good case for extraneous relationships, and her characters are filled, for a moment, for a lifetime, after giving in...

Sep 08 2007 | Read Full Review of Away

Book Reporter

But when an aunt reports she has seen Sophie's body floating in the river, Lillian decides to abandon her village for life with a cousin in the crowded Jewish tenements of the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Jan 07 2011 | Read Full Review of Away

Entertainment Weekly

''People who tell you the truth right away are people who aren't afraid of you,'' she writes, ''and that's either good news, because they're too stupid to be afraid, or very bad news, because they know that the only person who needs to be afraid is you.'' Then, like the best of artists, Bloom def...

Aug 20 2007 | Read Full Review of Away

USA Today

Suddenly Away becomes "The Dangerous Book for Girls," as Lillian says farewell to the Burstein boys and heads off to find her little girl, whatever it takes.Cold Mountain fans will experience dj vu as impoverished Lillian makes her way to Seattle and then Alaska, encountering an exotic and entert...

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San Francisco Chronicle

"We live and we love the world, Leyb thinks, and we kid ourselves that the world loves us back."

Aug 23 2007 | Read Full Review of Away

Lillian herself is not quite the naif most people take her for and, like a force of nature, her impact on the people she meets even briefly can be profound.

Jan 19 2017 | Read Full Review of Away

Deseret News

Amy Bloom, author of several acclaimed novels ("Love Invents Us," "Come to Me," etc.) recently gave up her psychology practice in order to write full time.

Sep 02 2007 | Read Full Review of Away

Bookmarks Magazine

Elinor Lipman Denver Post 4 of 5 Stars "Ultimately, Bloom turns a skeleton of a story with a few paltry incidents, which may or may not be true, into a work of fiction that resonates like fact and contains the universal truths found in enduring literature.

Oct 05 2007 | Read Full Review of Away

For the star of the new TV show Parks and Recreation, reading is an introduction to characters of all kinds--the wise, the plucky, the strange, and the downright kookalicious--who make the world a more fascinating and funny place.

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Away (Random House), by frequent O contributor Amy Bloom, tells of Lillian Leyb, an immigrant who lands at Ellis Island in 1924 with only her ambition and bittersweet memories.

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Literary Review

Thus far a scarily selfish figure prepared to do whatever's required in order to survive, Lillian is transformed when a new arrival from Turov reports that her daughter - who she thought had drowned after escaping when the rest of her family were killed - is still alive.

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